Asian Pop: Dot Community

The impending launch of .asia is covered by the San Francisco Chronicle. The article begins by asking “Is .asia the harbinger of — or a bridge to — a new era of social, cultural and commercial cross-pollination on the world’s fastest-growing and most populous continent?” The article notes .asia is the first TLD “to be awarded to a transnational entity without some kind of a formal government structure.”While a large part of Europe, which uses .eu, has a common currency and government, none of this applies to Asia. The article notes Asia’s “current status is probably best understood as a hybrid between concept and convenience. It’s an oft-repeated cliche that there are ‘no Asians in Asia,’ because the continent’s inhabitants represent such a wild cultural diversity and deeply competitive history that they have little incentive to embrace that kind of a pan-regional identity.”However the backers of .asia say the Internet itself is dramatic evidence of the overwhelming power of imagined concepts, once they’ve achieved sufficient grassroots support. Or “put it another way: The entire Internet is dependent on the idea that if you believe something exists, it exists — even if you can’t touch it, hold it or visit it in person. … And that’s why the symbolic importance of giving the continent of Asia its own designated neck of the ‘netwoods can’t be denied.”As the article notes “over 60% of the world’s population and 90 languages reside in Asia … NOW is the time for the Asian community to establish its own identity on the Internet.”

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